Thursday, November 4, 2010
Maria Villalobos I Love You
It was either drink or write to free my emotions. I chose to write even though I have a bottle of pomegranite margarita in the refrigerator. Oh well...I need my girls to drink with (and by my girls, I mean amigas not daughters)
When I walked into ICU on Saturday and saw my abuelita in the bed, I wasn't sure if my biggest emotion was grief or shock. Who was this tiny mujer laying in bed with her eyes closed gasping for air? When did she age so much? Was she really that tiny? Was this wonderful mujer in pain? She opened her eyes and gave me a toothless smile. Another shock, I didn't know abuelita had false teeth!
I leaned over kissed her on her forehead and asked her "Como esta abuelita?" Her reply: "acostada". She still had her sense of humor. Ayy caray.
I decided to spend the night on Saturday so my aunts and uncles could get some rest. My mother was preparing for her arrival because everyone agreed to bring her home to her room and make the time she had left comfortable.
As I sat there watching her sleep all I could think was how most of her life (she married at the age of 15) she was dedicated to being a wife and mother. I wondered what she was like at 15? Was she scared that she had to grow up so quickly? With each child that was born, did she gain a better knowledge and experience into raising children? She had 15 children. I have three and I am still trying to figure it out. How did she survive the loss of her children (5) because you can't ever forget.
When she was brought home she had the biggest smile you can imagine. She then told me and my cousin that it would be the last time we take her out of her home. We promised. This abuelita who always welcomed people into her home, her table was always filled with food and loved her children unconditionally was going away. The pain in my heart made it hard to breathe. How must my tias y tios feel?
Mi abuelita had a red wide brim hat she would wear as she walked around the patio in the back of the house. My dad would compliment her and tell her to watch out because a young man would steal her from us. She would blush and smile. She would see my dad eating something sweet and would stare at him until he offered "dona Mari, quiere un pedaso?" to which she would respond "pues si tu quieres." Ahh, the power of the jedi mind.
Chuy (my husband) once told her that he was about to call the police because he thought there was a car in the back "quemando llanta" (burrning rubber) to which she laughed at.
I remember the way she would carry some dinero tucked into her bra and hand us a dollar for ice cream when we were kids. I remember when I had Maia and instead of asking me if I pumped the breast milk she asked "hija, y te ordenas?" (Do I milk myself) to which I responded, "Ay abuela, ni que fuera vaca." Esta senora who would sneak candies into her pocket and then wake up in the morning with pieces of candy in her hair not knowing how it got there. "Quisas alguien lo tiro."
Here is what she taught me: You love your children even though they aren't perfect. You love your family and you love life. Thank you Maria Villalobos.
She was born in December of 1917 in Illinois and died November 2, 2010 (Dia de los muertos).
She has 15 children, 42 grand children, 59 great grand children and 8 great, great grand children. As my tia Carmen said, "mira las trabesuras que hiso mama con papa." Alamillo power.
Always loved, never forgotten.